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  • The world’s-first compact transceiver for terahertz wireless communication using the 300-GHz band—with transmission rate of several-dozen gigabits per second—was developed and experimentally demonstrated high-speed data transmission.

NTT Press Releases

(press-release material)

May 26, 2016

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation
Fujitsu Limited
National Institute of Information and Communications Technology

The world’s-first compact transceiver for terahertz wireless communication using the 300-GHz band—with transmission rate of several-dozen gigabits per second—was developed and experimentally demonstrated high-speed data transmission.
—Enabling a service for transferring one DVD’s worth of data in a few seconds—

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT; head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; president & CEO: Hiroo Unoura), Fujitsu Limited (Fujitsu; head office: Minato -ku, Tokyo; president & CEO: Tatsuya Tanaka), and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT; head office: Koganei city, Tokyo; president: Masao Sakauchi) have cooperatively developed the world’s-first compact terahertz wireless transceiver using the 300-GHz band and experimentally demonstrated that it can transmit data at transmission rate of 40 gigabits per second through multiplex transmission using orthogonal polarization. Since the transceiver can assure a broad frequency band, it is expected to be applied for high-speed wireless communication. Moreover, in the present development, under a supposed usage case in which large-capacity contents are downloaded from an information terminal (such as downloading video and music), the transmitter of the developed transceiver was installed in such an information terminal. Moreover, according to the results of a contents-downloading experiment using a compact (i.e., smartphone-sized) terminal fitted with a matching developed receiver, data transmission of two gigabytes per second (namely, downloading at a rate of one DVD’s worth of data in about three seconds) was achieved. Through this experiment, it was shown that a compact transceiver using terahertz waves in the 300-GHz band*1—as well as the accompanying elemental circuit technology—could achieve large-capacity transmission. From now onwards, it is expected that technologies utilizing terahertz waves in the 300-GHz band will make major advances. The developed technology was presented in detail at IMS2016 (2016 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium) held in San Francisco from May 22nd, 2016. Moreover, as part of the sponsored research project called “Multi-tens gigabit wireless communication technology at subterahertz frequencies” under “The research and development project for the expansion of radio spectrum resources” of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan running from 2011 to 2015, this accomplishment was successfully implemented by NTT, Fujitsu, and NICT.

1Background

As broadband networks continue to spread, investigations on high-speed data transmission via wireless communication are progressing across the world. To attain transmission rates at the level of the several-dozen gigabits per second (which will enable uncompressed realtime wireless transmission of ultra-high-definition images and instantaneous transfer of large-capacity data), it is necessary to utilize presently unused frequency bands. In particular, it is necessary to develop a compact wireless device that can handle high-speed data transfer. Terahertz wireless communication is a promising technology for meeting that need, and utilization of the 300-GHz band (which is presently unused by industry) is expected to open up new frequency resources.

2Results of experiment

(1)Experiment on high-speed data transmission using a compact transceiver for terahertz wireless communication

In this experiment, an InP-based high-electron-mobility transistor (InP-HEMT)*2 was used as an ultrahigh-speed device and incorporated in a high-frequency transceiver circuit designed as an integrated circuit (IC). In this manner, a compact transceiver for terahertz wireless communication using the 300-GHz band was created. The transmitter enables 20-Gbps data transmission as an integrated architecture connecting (via a waveguide) a metal package housing the IC and an antenna (see Figure 1). Moreover, under the assumption that the receiver will be mounted in a smartphone-sized terminal, mounting the IC in the antenna-integrated metal package resulted in an overall size of 1 cc (previously reported)*3,*4. The receiver demodulates a 20-Gbps wireless signal (received via the wireless section) and outputs it as a data signal (see Figure 2). In addition, as for radiowave propagation and measurement technology concerning the 300-GHz band, high-speed data transfer was verified by an experiment performed in an anechoic chamber (see Figure 3).

Figure 1: Transmitter (NTT)Figure 1: Transmitter (NTT)

Figure 2: Receiver (Fujitsu)Figure 2: Receiver (Fujitsu)

Figure 3: Experiment of radiowave propagation and measurement technology (NICT)Figure 3: Experiment of radiowave propagation and measurement technology (NICT)

Figure 4: Configuration of systemFigure 4: Configuration of system

In this verification experiment, the transmitter and a signal processor for forward error correction (FEC)*5 etc. (both developed by NTT), the receiver (developed by Fujitsu), and the radiowave propagation and measurement technology (developed by NICT) were brought together in the configuration shown in Figure 4. With the developed transmitter and receiver set facing each other, 20-Gbps data transfer was achieved. As a result, as for transmission distances exceeding 1 m, the possibility of error-free transmission*6 was confirmed (see Figure 5).

Figure 5: System for experimental verificationFigure 5: System for experimental verification

Furthermore, an experiment on polarization-multiplexing transmission using two transceiver sets and a polarized waves*7 perpendicular to each other was performed, and the results of the experiment confirmed that 40-Gbps data transfer is possible. These experiments confirmed sufficient performance as a wireless device transceiver and the utility of the developed technology.

(2)Verification experiment simulating a data-downloading service

With the developed transmitter installed in an information terminal, and the matching developed receiver installed in a smartphone-sized terminal, a verification experiment simulating a service for downloading data (by touching the smartphone-sized terminal on the information terminal) was performed (see Figures 6, 7, and 8). In this experiment, video files stored in a PC on the transmission side (i.e., a contents server) were used, and the transfer rate concerning those files was evaluated. As a result, high-speed downloading of data at 2 GB/s (gigabytes per second)—equivalent to downloading at a rate of one DVD’s worth of data in about three seconds—was confirmed. Under the aim of providing a high-speed downloading service, although investigations on using millimeter waves are presently progressing, the effectiveness of using terahertz wireless communication to further increase data-transfer rate was confirmed in this experiment.

Figure 6: Information terminalFigure 6: Information terminal

Figure 7: Smartphone-sized terminal housing the receiverFigure 7: Smartphone-sized terminal housing the receiver

Figure 8: Touching the smartphone-sized terminal on the information terminalFigure 8: Touching the smartphone-sized terminal on the information terminal

3Future developments

From now onwards, while further increasing data-transfer rate and improving efficiency of the communication sequence, in anticipation of studies on frequency utilization, we will continue our vigorous investigations on usage cases in addition to contents downloading.

4Glossary

*1terahertz wave
An electromagnetic wave with a frequency in the terahertz (THz) range (where 1 THz = 1012 Hz in the same manner that 1 kHz = 103 Hz and 1 GHz = 109 Hz). Hertz (Hz) is the unit of physical quantity called frequency, which expresses how many times an AC electric signal or an electromagnetic wave switches polarity (from positive to negative a vice versa ) per second. In other words, an electromagnetic wave with a frequency of 1 THz (i.e., 1000 GHz) switches its polarity 1×1012 times per second. Generally, the majority of terahertz waves are electromagnetic waves in the frequency range from 0.1 THz to 10 THz.
*2InP-based high-electron-mobility transistor (InP-HEMT)
A high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) using indium phosphide as a composite semiconductor.
*3Press release issued on October 17th, 2013 titled “Fujitsu Develops High-sensitivity-reception IC Technology for a Large-capacity Gigabit Wireless Communication Device using the Millimeter-wave Band (240 GHz)”
(http://www.fujitsu.com/global/about/resources/news/press-releases/2013/1017-01.html )
*4Press release issued on September 8th, 2015 titled “Fujitsu Develops World’s First Compact 300-GHz Receiver for Wireless Communications of Tens of Gigabits per Second—cubic capacity kept less than one centimeter enables mobile devices to instantly transfer 4K or 8K HD video—”
(http://www.fujitsu.com/global/about/resources/news/press-releases/2015/0908-02.html )
*5Forward error correction (FEC)
To correct errors generated when data is transmitted, a code is added to the data on the sender’s side, and errors are detected on the receiver’s side.
*6Error-free transmission
Transmission that makes signals receivable without errors. It is enabled by correcting errors by FEC and re-transmitting signals when errors are generated.
*7Polarized wave
An electromagnetic wave with a fixed direction of oscillation.

Contact information

News-media contact details

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation

Science and Core Technology Laboratory Group, Public Relations
e-mail: a-info@lab.ntt.co.jp
TEL: 046-240-5157

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Fujitsu Limited

Public & Investor Relations Division
Inquiries: https://www.fujitsu.com/global/about/resources/news/presscontacts/form/index.html 

National Institute of Information and Communications Technology

Public Relations Department, Press Office
e-mail: publicity@nict.go.jp
TEL: 042-327-6923

Contact details regarding research

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation

Science and Core Technology Laboratory Group, Public Relations
e-mail: a-info@lab.ntt.co.jp
TEL: 046-240-5157

Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.

Devices & Materials Laboratories
e-mail: tera@ml.labs.fujitsu.com

National Institute of Information and Communications Technology

Advanced ICT Research Institute, Frontier Research Laboratory
e-mail: kasa@nict.go.jp
TEL: 042-327-6824

Information is current as of the date of issue of the individual press release.
Please be advised that information may be outdated after that point.

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